New poems from one of Canada’s best-known poets
Where most poetry seeks contemplative quiet, as in Wordsworth’s “emotion recollected in tranquility,” Diversion asks: What happens to poetry if one stops trying to block the incoming cacophony and instead embraces the multiple streams of data that bombard the contemporary thought process? What poetry comes from the multitude of channels — ambient office radio, TVs at the gym, rampant social media alerts, eavesdropped conversations within crowds, 24-hour-news cycles, texts, telephone and voicemail, email pings — that constantly interrupt the brain from cogent thought? The result is alternately dark and hilarious, straddling the line between aphorism and poetry and creating an atmospheric narrative through connections that form between seemingly unassociated lines. For better or worse, what used to be stream-of-consciousness is now stream-of-collective-unconsciousness.
About the author
George Murray's three previous books of poetry include The Hunter (McClelland & Stewart, 2003) and The Cottage Builder's Letter (M&S, 2001). His poems, fiction and criticism have appeared in many publications in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and Europe. Murray won the 2003 New York Festivals Radio and Television Gold Medal for Best Writing for his broadcast poem "Anniversary: A Personal Inventory" and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is the editor and publisher of the popular literary website Bookninja.com and a contributing editor for several literary magazines, including Canadian Notes and Queries and The Drunken Boat. He lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.
“Reading George Murray's Diversion makes me feel sorry for almost every other poet out there. You could build a rock solid poem out of almost every single line in this book. Most of us are digging rocks, Murray is mining diamonds . . . Diversion is without doubt one of the very best books of poetry I have read this year.” — Today’s Book of Poetry